Caretaker Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, on Wednesday chaired a ministerial meeting to discuss the most recent developments regarding the Syrian refugee presence in Lebanon. The following are the ministerial committee’s decisions: 1- Requesting of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to provide the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities with all kinds of data on displaced Syrians within a week’s time, provided that the refugee status be removed from every Syrian national departing from Lebanese territories. 2- Asking of the Lebanese security apparatuses to strictly pursue violators and to prevent the illegal entry of Syrians to Lebanon. 3- Requesting of the Ministries of Interior and Municipalities and Social Affairs to carry out all the legal requirements in terms of registering the births of Syrians on Lebanese soil, in coordination with the UNHCR. 4- Requesting of foreign countries to participate in bearing the burdens of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, especially with their increasing number amid the exacerbating economic crisis. 5- Requesting of the Ministry of Labor, in coordination with the General Directorate of General Security, to tighten labor control within the permitted sectors. 6- Requesting of the Minister of Justice to discuss the possibility of handing over detainees, and those sentenced, to the Syrian state immediately, taking into account the relevant laws and agreements – after coordination the Syrian state. 7- Assigning the Ministers of Social Affairs and Labor, the Secretary General of the Supreme Defense Council, and the Acting Director General of General Security to follow up on the implementation of the Committee’s decisions, coordinate with the Syrian side, and submit periodic reports in this regard to the Ministerial Committee. On the other hand, Caretaker Premier Mikati met with Caretaker Minister of National Defense, Maurice Sleem, over Ministry related affairs. Mikati also met with Army Commander General Joseph Aoun. The Prime Minister also received at the Grand Serail Minister of State and Deputy Minister for International Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade of the Kingdom of Sweden, Diana Janse, accompanied by a delegation that included Head of the Middle East and North Africa Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Magnus Hellgren, Swedish Ambassador to Lebanon, Ann Dismorr, and all the Swedish ambassadors and ministry directors working in the Middle East and North Africa . On emerging, Ambassador Dismorr said: “We had an excellent meeting with Premier Mikati, and this meeting demonstrates the best expression of the excellent relations between Sweden and Lebanon.” Hellgren, in turn, said: “It is natural to choose Beirut to bring together all Swedish ambassadors and ministry directors working in the region, as Beirut is the heart of the Middle East. We will have useful and constructive discussions on the situation in the region,” adding “We listened to Premier Mikati’s analysis of the situation in Lebanon and the region, which enriched our discussions.” The PM later received a delegation from the International Freedom of Religion or Belief Alliance, currently visiting Lebanon at the invitation of the Adyan Foundation. The visit aims, as per a statement, “to demonstrate international support for the Lebanese people at this time and to reinforce the idea that freedom of religion and belief must be at the core of all reforms or changes that Lebanon may witness in the coming period.”

Source: National News Agency – Lebanon